Manchester Airport marks anniversary from the start of the final phase of its £1.3 billion transformation

Manchester Airport has marked 12 months since the start of the final phase of its £1.3 billion transformation programme.

Manchester Airport has marked 12 months since the start of the final phase of its £1.3 billion transformation programme by looking at the important milestones reached in the last year.

Work started on the second phase of the programme in January 2023 and since then the airport has seen significant progress, including the creation of 500 new construction jobs, the demolition of Terminal 2’s old security and retail hall to make way for a brand new one and major developments on the airfield.

The first phase of the project started with the opening of the west side of the brand-new Terminal 2 – which has already won a prestigious design award, the Prix Versailles, which recognised it as one of the most beautiful airport buildings in the world.

Passenger feedback on the new Terminal has already been extremely positive – a survey of more than 1,000 passengers last summer that showed 93% of passengers rated their overall satisfaction as ‘good,’ ‘very good’  or ‘excellent’.

The second phase focuses on the east side of Terminal 2 which is being brought in line with the award-winning west side and will feature 27 new shops, bars and restaurants – which will be announced in the spring.

Over the course of the next 18 months the second phase will see the completion of Terminal 2’s second pier that will increase the number of boarding gates and provide capacity for next generation aircraft and the giant Airbus A380. It will also see the completion of a new check in hall and brand-new security scanners, an extension of the departure lounge and the installation of a landmark piece of art made using the iconic old chandeliers that used to be in Terminal 1.  

Once complete, Terminal 2 will become the airport’s main terminal and cater for over 70% of its passengers. It will also allow for the closure of Terminal 1.

Key milestones in the last year include:

  • January 2023: Phase 2 launched
  • February 2023: Demolition of the old retail and security hall
  • March 2023: Creation of 500 new construction jobs on the project – plus opportunities for T Level students and work experience students
  • April 2023: Work completed in Terminal 2 West check in hall – including the delivery of 40 new check in desks that are already improving customer service. The baggage hall was also extended and the new system for moving
  • May 2023: Tenders launched for 27 new shops, restaurants and bars to go in the new part of the Terminal 2 departure lounge – the final lineup will be announced in the spring
  • June 2023: Construction started on Pier 2 – this is the largest infrastructure element of the second phase and will almost double the terminal’s capacity for aircraft – including making it able to accommodate two Airbus A380s, the largest passenger jets in the world
  • July 2023: Piling started – piling is the process of drilling reinforced foundations into the ground to allow for the construction of large, heavy buildings. The project is using innovative pre-cast piles that significantly reduce vehicle movements involved in the construction and drives down its carbon footprint
  • August 2023: Significant work on the airfield carried out – including the installation of a sub-terranean aviation fuel pipe and the beginning of work to create a new dual taxiway which will make the airfield more efficient
  • September 2023: Welcomed new apprentices on to the project
  • October 2023: Work began on the east check in hall – work that will bring it in line with the award winning west side of the hall
  • November: In November the team carried out important community fundraising work
  • December: Preparations underway for an epic 18 months of further work on the programme to see it complete in 2025

Jill Fraser, Manchester Airport Transformation Programme delivery director, said: 

“The last 12 months have seen an incredible amount of work and it’s amazing to see the project really taking shape. 

“From the creation of more than 500 jobs, to the work to improve the way the airfield works – this is a huge project but one that will have so many benefits for our passengers.

“We’ve already started to see some of the benefits of the programme, with our passengers who have used Terminal 2 giving amazing feedback and the award of the prestigious Prix Versailles.

“And the exciting thing is that we’ve not even finished yet – so we’re looking forward to an epic 18 months ahead. We’re proud to connect the North to the world and are looking forward to passengers seeing everything we deliver.” 

James Rogers, Director at Terminal 2 architects Pascall+Watson, said: 

“Pascall+Watson Architects are proud to be part of Manchester Airport’s project team. This second phase of Manchester Airport’s Award Winning Transformation Programme will continue to build on the success of Phase 1, providing world-class facilities. Our collective efforts serve to connect the people of Manchester and the North with the rest of the world, helping to promote economic growth and tourism for the wider region.”

Carl Dainter, Head of Global Aviation for Mace Consult, said: 

“The team has collaborated at every step of the way to overcome challenges, meet important milestones, and lay the foundations for a busy 18 months ahead, and we are looking forward to handing the completed facilities over in 2025, enabling Manchester Airport to continue to grow its enhanced capacity and offering to the Northwest of England.”

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